Thursday, February 28, 2013


Bonjour tout le monde!

This week in one word: change!

My oldest brother, Austin, came home from his mission in Portland. I hear he had quite the homecoming! Congratulations to him! He has always been an amazing example to me. I've always looked up to him and I hope to serve as faithfully as he did!

Our area went through a lot of changes! We ended up dropping a few of the potential investigators that we had and did a major sweep through our area book. We found some really solid investigators (I'll tell you more about them in a bit...) and saw a few miracles!

But the biggest change of all is that I'm being transferred! I kind of knew it was coming. The area that I'm in, like I've said before, is the envy of the mission and it's rare for a missionary to stay here for more than 3 transfers. So where am I going and what will I be doing? Drum-roll please... I'm training a new missionary (I won't know who until Wednesday morning) and together we will be flushing (the two Elders that are there are leaving and we're replacing them) a small town in the sub-arctic called Rimouski! I'm excited and nervous but all-together ready for the change! That means I'll be going from the middle of downtown Montréal to the outskirts of the mission. In fact, Rimouski is the furthest north in the whole mission. It will be very cold and there will be quite a bit of snow but I'm ready! It will be fun to train and I'm glad that President Cannon trusts me enough to help the mission in that way. (Speaking of the Mission President—we got word that the new Mission President who has been called to replace President Cannon is Victor P. Patrick. I haven't heard anything about him but the alliteration in President Patrick is packing a punch!) 

There was an accident in the metros this morning and the whole metro line we live on was closed so we got to the office pretty late.)

Here’s a bunch of pictures…


A little something I made

I thought this was a super cool painting 
A museum Caitlin took us to on McGill campus

Caitlin made cinnamon rolls for me on Friday (my six month mark)
I'll miss seeing this in our building entrance
I love this city!

My last "J Dawg" (Send me more sauce!)
Elder Reid wanted to play on last "Super Settlers" game this morning before he leaves

Okay I know this is lame and I do this so often but I'm out of time... One thing... Saturday was Stephanie's baptism! It went very well! She was so excited and all of her family came out to support her! That was such a blessing because we've been working with her parents ever since I came here 4 months ago to try to get their approval for her baptism. I was glad to see them there for it. 

I love all of you! Sorry I couldn't give you more of an update! Have a great week!

Elder Ellis

Monday, February 18, 2013


Bonjour tout le monde!

So remember how last week I said I had no time and yet still managed to write a proper letter? Yeah... that isn't going to happen this time! I got to the office and got slammed with a bunch of computer questions and we have a zone activity in 20 minutes. So that doesn't leave me with much time to talk about this week day-to-day! So I'm not going to try!

With that said, this week was great! We've worked hard and had fun! Here are a few highlights:

We got back in touch with Dustin! I was asked to help fix a few computers and set up some printers at the Villa Maria chapel for the Employment Center and while we were there we ran into him! He had transferred his records from YSA to the family ward and we had no idea where he went. Apparently he has been looking for a job and getting some help from the Church. It was good to see him and catch up.

Valentine's Day! It was funny to see people carrying flowers around all day. Everyone seemed to be in a lighter mood and we actually got to teach a few lessons!

Sometime in the middle of January (I'm not sure if I wrote about him or not but...) we met a guy named Adam who invited us back to talk about the Book of Mormon. He gave us a date to come back a month from when we met him. Well, that was just about a month ago! So we went to see him and he was actually still expecting us! That was nice. We had a great discussion and taught a really great lesson about the importance of the Book of Mormon in our lives today.

We made Stephanie's baptismal program for this upcoming Saturday! We are so excited for her to be baptized! She has the most interesting story. She was absolutely lead to find the Gospel. Oh! And her friend that introduced her to the Church from Utah is coming with her family for the baptism! They met in India while on a humanitarian trip and roomed together and stayed up every night talking about the Church and the Book of Mormon.

I got a few letters from Dad! That was great! It's fun to hear how excited everyone is to see Austin again! I can't believe that he is coming home tomorrow! It's funny, I bet I've been more trunky for him to get home than he has. Then again, the letters and emails are pretty much just all about the preparations being made for him to get home! I love hearing about the renovations at home! You should actually send me some pictures so I can see them!

Also, would you mind putting the Hymns without words on my iPod when you send it? It helps in the morning when we sing a hymn for companionship study to have some accompaniment!

That's just about all I have time for this week! I love all of you!

Avec amour,

Elder Ellis

Monday, February 11, 2013


Bonjour tout le monde!

This morning Elder Reid, Rasmussen, and I decided that we wanted to play Settlers of Catan and it took longer than we thought it would (go figure!) so I'm already short on email time. This morning I also figured out that my camera is more awesome than I thought previously and took a bunch of pictures. So hopefully the pictures will make up for the short email.

But nonetheless, here is a low-down of the past week!

On Tuesday morning Elder Osorio and I went to get bubble-tea (sans tea) at China Town with Murianne. It had been a while since we saw her last so it was nice to catch up. She said that she had taken a break from all technology so it was near impossible to contact her. We're glad that she picked up the phone for us, though! She said that she has been working to find a new job so that she can start coming on Sundays and to the activities throughout the week. After that we went back to the office and did our facebook contacting and then had a lesson over the phone with Stephanie to figure out her baptismal program. She will be baptized on February 23rd! We are excited for her to make this step and progress in her relationship with Heavenly Father. We had a lesson with Brennan right after her so we metro'd as fast as we could to the freshman student housing where he lives. It was a pretty good lesson but Elder Osorio and I were just on completely different pages and I'm afraid he realized that and didn't get much out of the lesson. It was kind of upsetting but he still opened up and shared some personal experiences with us. Later on in the week when we texted him to confirm an appointment he told that we could come pick up the Book of Mormon we gave him and that he didn't want to spend any more time learning. He even used "It's not you, it's me." It felt like a high-school break up! We are still talking with him though and trying to help him realize the importance of the Plan of Salvation. We got a call later that day from Sonny (the one who investigated the church because one of the members gave him a hug in the metro and was baptized). He asked us if we could go to the hospital with him to visit his mom. She has been addicted to hard drugs since she was 15 and has really started to lose control of her mind and body. I could go off about how dangerous and destroying addictive substances are but... time restraints! We shared a thought with her from the Book of Mormon and Sonny shared his conversion story with her. Sadly she was completely past feeling and didn't really understand what was going on. All she kept asking was if she was allowed to smoke in her room or not. I was pretty sad about that. Then we got a call from Nichelle and AJ from the YSA asking if we wanted to come over for dinner. They are engaged to be married at the end of this month and are such a great couple! We have become really great friends. They made us one of the best meals I've had here so far! It was some sort of tomato, basil, chicken, rice dish. It was so good! They gave us a referral to teach one of their friends that AJ goes to school with. We'll contact him later this upcoming week when AJ talks to him at school.

Bubble Tea with Murianne
Wednesday we went to lunch with Jason and Ben Glowa—two of my absolute favorite people! I'll miss them when I leave this area. I have a feeling that I won't be staying here after this transfer. I would really love to stay but it's YSA and is the envy of the mission so President Cannon likes to switch people out after three transfers. But anyways, transfers are in two weeks so I still have some time! We went to an all-you-can-eat buffet near the south-west end of the island. It was super good food and the waitress recognized us right off the bat as Mormons. It was pretty cool! When Ben sat down at the table she came over and took one of the menus away and he said, "Oh wait, no, there are four us. We're waiting for my brother." And then she said, "Your brother? Or your brother brother? Cause I know you Mormons think everyone is related." We all laughed! It was a good teaching opportunity. Ben and Jason both won stuffed animals from the claw game for their valentines. That afternoon we knocked a bunch and passed by a lot of the potentials that we had met in the weeks past to see if they were really interested in learning more or not. They weren't. You know what's awesome about being a missionary? After about 6 weeks you become immune to the pain that comes from rejection. We are publicly rejected just about 12 hours a day 7 days a week. Not really any other experience—well, besides telemarketing—can give you that ability. Being rejected is not fun, but it's not the end of the world and it definitely is not the end of the work! Some people snicker when they slam a door thinking that they just defeated us and that we'll mope back to our apartment and give up for the day but the thing that they don't realize is that no matter what happens, no matter what they say or do, can take away from what we know to be true. The Gospel brings peace that lasts and happiness that is real. I love being a missionary! That night we helped clean the chapel. Caitlin brought one of her friends, Talia, to help clean and to play sports. I love being able to play sports with our investigators because it really gives a chance to teach by example in a non-confrontational setting. She was really interested as to what we actually do as missionaries and the sacrifice that it is to be here. 

Jason and Ben with their prizes
Thursday morning and afternoon we had Zone Conference! It was the best one yet. (I'm sure that they'll all just keep getting better and better.) We had a great training from President Cannon on the role of members in missionary work and how to help them understand their role. There is so much emphasis on member missionary work going on right now. President Cannon has put a lot of thought into the best ways to teach that so it's understood to members. He shared a lot of his thoughts and gave us a few teaching tools and techniques to share the message. I wish I could explain all of it here but it would take up the rest of my email time! After Zone Conference, I went on splits with Elder Reid, one of the Zone Leaders. This is his last transfer and the second one that I have spent getting to know him. He was Elder Heder's companion last transfer. He had so much to share and show me. And I got to drive the car! It was fun to drive again. We had a pass-off lesson with two Haitian girls that were really nice. They are going to start coming to the YSA. We stopped by and saw a less-active member in the Montreal Ward and read the scriptures with him. He is a retired poet and gave me a few of his unpublished poems. They are actually super good! We did some knocking and a bunch of pass-by's all over the city. It was nice to be traveling above ground because I got to make some connections between areas on my mental map of the city. Even though we live just two doors down from each other in the same apartment building I still slept over at their apartment. Elder Reid is one of my best friends here. He has taught me so much about having fun while doing missionary work and is a great example and a wonderful leader.

Elder Teuira at Zone Conference.  One of the APs
Elder Reid and I on splits

Friday morning I did my studies with Elder Reid and we had our stewardship interview in companionship study. That is one thing that the mission really prepares you for is doing interviews. You learn how to give and to receive interviews quite frequently. We didn't have lunch or breakfast because we were fasting for one of the Sister's mom. She (the mother) was just diagnosed with cancer and so the whole mission fasted that all of the treatments and medical appointments coming up for her would go smoothly. We ended the splits and I was back with Elder Osorio. We did our weekly planning at the office and got a few lessons set up over facebook. We were supposed to meet a few people for lesson one after the other at the church but no one showed up... That was kind of disappointing. I hate wasting time now! We still got to teach a few other lessons that night as we knocked, though. So the day turned out pretty okay!

Saturday started off awesome! Caitlin met us at the McGill gates to help us teach a lesson. We finally got in touch with Tim and have started teaching him again. He has been reading the Book of Mormon and is almost done with 2 Nephi! The lesson went really well. We taught about the Plan of Salvation and he loved it. He said the one thing he has always felt that he's had questions about is what happens after this life. He told us that he has always felt that there is more to the story of life than just heaven and hell. We were so happy to help finish to the story for him! Caitlin was also very happy to help us teach. This was her first "real" lesson that she helped us teach after her baptism last month! She was just called as a Sunday School teacher as well! She has been doing so well in her lessons! After the lesson we went to brunch with Caitlin to a place called Cora's. Mom, you should totally look up the story of the restaurant, you would love it! A Greek lady started it about 25 years ago after her husband died and it has grown and grown! She is the most successful Canadian businesswoman ever. It's a pretty cool story. The food was amazing as well! I got crêpes and some fresh fruit. That was the first time (surprisingly!) that I've had them since Nicole and I made them for breakfast before I left! They were super good. We talked for a while with her and shared some of our recent missionary experiences. After we went to McGill campus to a library and had a lesson. It was a fun lesson because we had to whisper the whole time. My throat didn't think it was so fun afterwards, though. Caitlin showed us a museum that is open on Mondays that we are going to go visit as soon as I finish writing this letter! Sonny came knocking with us were able to teach a few lesson with him. I love taking some of the recent converts out to do missionary work because they seem to know so much about it already! It is a great experience for them as well to strengthen their testimony by sharing what they believe with people the meet. There is nothing like proclaiming what you believe to strengthen the core of your testimony!

Caitlin and I on McGill campus

Sunday we had great meetings! In fact, the night before, Charles invited us to his church again. We decided we would go but we would only stay for 20 minutes and then leave to our meetings on the condition that he would meet with us sometime this week. I wrote my testimony in a copy of the Book of Mormon and gave it to him when we saw him. He seemed pretty shocked but I hope he'll give it a chance. We had our normal correlation meeting with Jason and then branch council. I love this branch and it will be tough to leave it eventually! I've grown to love the people here so much! They are some of my best friends! The Stake President from the Québec Stake came to see the YSA Branch because their YSA will be hosting a conference in Québec City this weekend. He spoke in Sacrament meeting and gave a combined lesson to the Priesthood and Relief Society. (Wowzers, those last two sentences require a Mormon Dictionary to understand...) A lot of the less-active members that we have been visiting and working with came to church which was so great! We even had a potluck afterwards and a devotional from President Cannon. We were invited to stay but it turned out being just a whole bunch of talk about how to adjust after getting home from a mission and dating so we left pretty quickly to do some work. We had a lesson planned with a Chinese investigator so we went on splits with Chinese Elders to teach it. Elder Riff and I went but the person wasn't home so we knocked almost all night. We have become really good friends and I am so glad that I've had so many chances to work with him recently.

The view from the apartment at night!

A car we see every morning in the parking garage.  We've started to play games on it...
Elder Reid
Playing with my camera

Well! That actually ended up being a pretty decent email! I had a great week as you can probably tell and I'm doing great. I love being here. I love what I'm doing. And I love the people that I get to see every day! I hope everything is going well at home and everyone is having fun cleaning (ha!) and getting ready for Austin to come home! 

Avec amour,

Elder Ellis

Monday, February 4, 2013


Bonjour tout le monde!

Has it already been a week since my last letter? I can't believe it's already February! And I seriously cannot believe that the other Elder Ellis (Austin) is going to finish his mission this month! I can just imagine how wild it is at the house right now with Mom getting the house all clean and ready for him! (My deepest apologies, siblings! I would help clean up but it seems as though I'm a bit "pre-occupied"!) Even though the week went quickly a lot has happened that I hope I'll have the time to tell you about!

First thing, though! I just came up to the office to write the letter and when I walked in there was a nice little package waiting for me from my sooper dooper great friend Brynnley! The best part: she's going to serve a mission! That was the best news ever! Congratulations, Brynn! I'm going to try to write back to you today and get the letter off but I just couldn't wait to tell you how excited I am! Even though our reunion party with the other Wyview kids will be pushed back... Speaking of them, I need their addresses! Someone want to send me those? Abby Stewart, Elder Sam Norton, Elder Zach Harris, Kevin Fonseca and the great Hillary Gilland?

Second thing—some housekeeping. So two of my ties that we got from Missionary Mall are coming apart... They are my two favorite ones! If I remember right, there should be a two-year warranty on them. Can we look into that and see what I need to do to get them replaced? And the whole iPod situation. The music rule in our mission is: "If it brings you closer to Christ." President Cannon has left a lot of things up to us to make decisions on and so I've come up with a list of music that I've heard from other missionaries so far that I would like. In my first two transfers with Elder Baker, he had an iPod that we would listen to in the morning. It really helped us stay awake during studies because it's so easy for your thoughts to drift and music really helps me I've found. So if you could send me my blue iPod nano (it should be in my "Apple Box" at the top of my closet) that would be much appreciated! You can just clear everything off of it (Matt or Hannah can help you with that) and add your favorite church music and then these as well:

-Nearer: a New Collection of Favorite Hymns
-The Lower Lights (all 3 of their albums)
-Libby Linton (whatever gospel stuff she has)
-Mindy Gledhill (I think she has a gospel album...)

-And some Eminem, Akon, and Beyonce as well... Kidding!

Okay... so as for what I've been up to this week!

For pday on Monday we played pickle ball with the zone leaders. It is one of my favorite sports now! It was so much fun. Elder Reid and I played one on one for almost three hours straight! I got some wicked blisters on my fingers, though. We had Family Home Evening later that night and cleaned the chapel with the French branch.

Tuesday I went to district leader training with Elder Osorio. Each district leader in the zone was asked to prepare some training. There were some really great things that we covered. We talked about conducting interviews, setting goals, apartment cleanliness, "train to train," and working with Sisters. Everyone had great things to share and I learned quite a bit. I love the missionaries I get to work with here! Everyone is so focused and ready to work! You know that saying "The mission is the best two years of your life!"? Someone there made an interesting comment that I love. He said, "I don't think that's the best way to describe it. I think the mission is the best two years for your life, not necessarily of it." After that we had a lesson at the freshman student housing that I wrote about in December. Last week we decided to go back there and share another really good video that the Church made called "Heavenly Father, Earthly Father." We found a few new investigators from sharing it so we went back to teach this one kid named Brennan. He is really nice! We taught him about the Book of Mormon and answered a few of the questions that he had about Mormons from talking with his family who are Catholic. It was a great lesson and we all learned something from it. I've really been trying to make sure that every lesson that we teach fits the guideline in D&C 50:22 "Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together." You can be sure that you taught a good lesson and the Spirit testified of truth when the teacher and the student have learned in the process. Anyways, so after Brennan we knocked for pretty much the rest of the day. It was so incredibly cold and weren't having any luck with getting into the big buildings so we just had to keep knocking on the streets. We didn't teach many lessons but we met some cool people anyways.

Wednesday was great! We started off with district study and went over our goals and the progress we have made in our areas. We ran out of money for the month (of January) last week and so for lunch we had to hunt for pigeons around the bus stops to roast. We ate them with J Dawgs sauce so they weren't too bad....... :) Kidding, we had p.b. and honey sandwiches! But I am getting a little low on J Dawgs sauce though so... the first person to send me another bottle gets a huge prize! I'm serious. If you send me some, the week I get home I will take you to get a J Dawg. And I'll pay. So booya. Anyways, back to Wednesday—we did a ton more knocking and actually taught some lessons! We found three new investigators all on the same floor of an apartment building which was awesome. That night we played sports with the YSA and met some of their friends. The only thing that I would ask for in my mission is more member work! We really need their help and sometimes it's hard to show that. We've talked about it, the leaders of the Church have talked about it, and we've had meetings but it just isn't really picking up. I'm not exactly sure what we can do to help them see the important role they play in this work. Sports were fun, though! We played volleyball and shot some hoops.

Thursday was one of the most productive days I've had so far! One of the members, Christian, came to a few lessons with us. He served a mission in the Philippines. We taught some of our most solid investigators more about the Book of Mormon. Christian shared his testimony with everyone about the way his life has been changed by reading and applying it. It really helped them to see beyond the fact that it's a book and to realize the power of the message it contains. I hope we get to work more with him soon. He taught me so much in the few hours we taught with him! That night we were about to go home and then I had the weirdest impression to go see Dustin. He lives a few bus stops from one of the metro stops on a completely different line than the one we were on so I tried to brush it off but I couldn't. The thought just kept coming back to go see him and so we started heading his way. On the bus to his apartment a person came to mind that we had met over a month ago named Emma. I flipped through my old planner and found her number and called her up. She was so happy that I had. She told me that she had been waiting for weeks to talk to us because she had thrown away the slip of paper with our number on it that I gave her. She said that she had had a horrible day and couldn't get in contact with any of her friends or family and just needed someone to talk to. We got off of the bus and rang for Dustin but he wasn't there so we started to walk to Emma's. When we got there we talked for a while and then shared a few scriptures from the Book of Mormon. She needed to hear them so badly. It is amazing to me how the Spirit works. Often times we don't know the reason why receive a prompting to do something, to go somewhere, or to talk to someone. At times, even after following a prompting we may not even be able to do what we set out to do. But the simple act of following a spiritual prompting to help another person places you in a position for the Lord to use you to your fullest potential. Never disregard or wait to act on a prompting and you will always see miracles.

I'm out of time but here's a quick summary of the last few days...

Friday we had our weekly planning session and then went on splits with the Chinese elders for a few pass-offs. We met a new investigator at Tim Horton's and gave him a Book of Mormon. We had soup and institute with the YSA and a few less active members came! 

Saturday we went to see Emma with Caitlin but she wasn't feeling well enough for visitors. Caitlin came out so we went and got hot chocolate anyways then we went back to the church for a baptism. One of the Sisters’ investigators, Victoria, was baptized. It was a wonderful baptism and one that we had been looking forward to for a long time! We finally got in touch with Tim and had a lesson over the phone at our apartment that night. 

Sunday we had our normal meetings and I put on contacts for the first time in probably over a year! My prescription was a little weird and took a while to get used to. I'll probably stick with glasses for a while. We had dinner with Phil and his family at their house. I love them!

Time to go! I love all of you! Thanks for your love and prayers!

Avec amour,

Elder Ellis